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6 April 2016

The Returning Officer: Easter Rising

Winifred Carney was one of two female candidates for Sinn Fein at the 1918 election, finishing third at Belfast Victoria behind Labour Unionist and Labour candidates.

By Stephen Brasher

Winifred Carney was one of two female candidates for Sinn Fein at the 1918 election, finishing third at Belfast Victoria behind Labour Unionist and Labour candidates. In 1922, she was fined for possessing documents related to the IRA. Carney said that the papers were from the Irish White Cross, a US charity for victims of the civil war. A founder of the League of Women (known as the “Women’s IRA”), she had been one of only three women inside the GPO in the Easter Rising.

In 1918, it was ruled that £149 and ten shillings found on her when the rebels surrendered should be returned to the postmaster general. In 1928, she married George McBride, who had fought on the Somme. She later joined the Labour Party and the Belfast Socialist Party, an offshoot of the ILP.

Read more about the Easter Rising in Easter 1916: From the New Statesman Archive, a new anthology of the writing from the NS at the time

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This article appears in the 30 Mar 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The terror trail